Recent evidence from HIV vaccine trials in humans and non-human primates suggests that nonneutralizing antibody functions, such as antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), are an important component of vaccine-mediated protection. Whether anti-HIV ADCC antibodies are present in seminal fluid, however, is not known. We assessed whether anti-HIV antibodies within seminal plasma mediate ADCC and activate natural killer (NK) cells. Using matched blood and seminal plasma samples, we detected anti-HIV IgG within samples from all 11 HIV-infected donors. Furthermore, anti-HIV antibodies within the seminal plasma triggered detectable ADCC in 9 of 11 donors and activated NK cells in 6 of 11 donors. The ability of seminal plasma-derived IgG to activate NK cells in an anti-HIV antibody-dependent manner was enhanced when IgG were enriched and other seminal plasma components were removed. These observations have relevance for understanding natural immunity to HIV infection and provide assistance with HIV vaccine design.
- NK cells